The Atkins Diet

3225 Words7 Pages

The Atkins Diet:Too Good to be True?

The American population is fat. What’s worse, we are getting fatter. For many years, a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or more (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was the standard criteria for being overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more was the criteria for obesity. This meant that more than one third of U.S. adults were overweight. In recent years the criteria has been reduced to a BMI of 25 or more to be considered overweight, with the obesity criteria remaining the same. Now, more than 50% of U.S. adults are classified as being overweight. Interestingly, as the number of overweight individuals skyrockets, so too does the number of various diets that Americans are willing to try in their search for the thin standard that our culture idolizes. One of the most popular, and many claim successful, of the conglomerate of diets is the Atkins protein diet, named after its founder and guru Dr. Robert C. Atkins. With more than six million copies in print, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution proclaims to be "the amazing no-hunger weight-loss plan that has helped millions lose weight and keep it off" (Atkins). Sounds great, but what is this diet, and is it too good to be true?

How does the diet work?

The purpose of the Atkins diet is to change one’s metabolism and lose weight easily by eating foods high in protein and limiting foods high in carbohydrates, which tend to raise blood sugar levels the most. The diet works on the principle of ketosis – the process by which excess, stored body fat (the body’s secondary energy source) is burned, resulting in weight loss. A background understanding of the body’s natural energy system helps to understand Atkins’ rationale. Diets high i...

... middle of paper ...

... National Cholesterol Education Program, and the American Cancer Society who endorse a diet that is composed of 10% to 15% protein, 55% to 60% carbohydrates, and 25% to 30% fat. The entire process of ketosis is suspect, and may cause fatigue, nausea, and lead to dehydration and loss of potassium, which consequently may affect cardiac function. Other less serious symptoms of a ketone-producing diet are general tiredness, abrupt or gradually increasing weakness, dull headache, abdominal pain, increased breathing, nausea and vomiting, and bad breath. A lifestyle consisting of daily exercise and balanced nutrition is one diet that will never go out of style. The weight may not miraculously melt off, as diets such as Atkins claim to happen, but it is more likely that in 5 years you will maintain your weight loss, whatever it is, and you will be healthier in the process.

Open Document